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Beck c Mark Allan

Beck collaborates with Thurston Moore, Simon Armitage and more at London's Barbican

30 June 2015, 14:41 | Written by Rich Thane

Restless chameleon that he is, Beck returned to London last night for a one-off performance at The Barbican as part of the month long Station To Station event.

An intriguing - and at times baffling - collaboration with Los Angeles based multimedia artist Doug Aitken, Beck was joined by a plethora of special guests including Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and legendary pedal steel guitarist B.J Cole.

The ninety minute peformance saw Beck weave intricate music with readings by Simon Armitage, Paul Farley, Jemima Foxtrot, Lavinia Greenlaw, Don Paterson, Sam Riviere and Luke Wright – all set to a backdrop of video projections by Aitken.

It's not the first time Beck has been involved in a Doug Aitken project. Back in 2013, he took part in the first instalment of Station to Station, which crossed North America by train from the Atlantic to the Pacific over 24 days, creating a series of events in major cities and off-the-grid locations. At the happenings in Barstow and Los Angeles, he created electrifying performances with a full gospel choir. Whilst that same year, the Barbican brought Beck’s Song Reader – an album released only in sheet music form – to life with a one-off cast of guest singers and musicians.

Amidst the poetry readings and orchestral interludes, Beck treated the sold out audience to a powerful rendition of "Waitin' For A Train" whilst Thurston Moore and Nought's James Sedwards delivered an ear-splitting aural assault with the feedback drenched "Speak to the Wild".

Station To Station runs at The Barbican until 26 July, with a full run down of the events and happenings listed here.

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